Crappy Album Covers #231 — Chicks as Marketeers

Hits: 7

A staple of CAC blogs is this 1955 record, entitled “Music to Remember Her”, whose cover features the disembodied heads of attractive women. It is a concept we’ve seen before on this journal, with similar creepy results.

Jackie Gleason (1916-1987) was best known for his role as Ralph Kramden in the sitcom The Honeymooners, as well as his role in the 1961 film The Hustler, playing the starring role of pool shark Minnesota Fats. He is less known as a musician, but for over a decade, he lent his talents to his penchant for romantic Jazz numbers, which this particular record is a likely example.

Another frequent flyer on the CAC blogosphere, is Cher’s 1978 Pop/Disco album “Take Me Home”. The main criticism I have read others as saying is WTF about that ridiculous costume she’s wearing.

But slow down a minute. Look at her. She could wear a Glad garbage bag over her body and still look hot. Sorry for breaking ranks with the rest of you guys. I would GLADLY buy the record, pin the cover on my wall, and throw away the vinyl (I hate disco anyway).

That being said, I don’t get much of an impression of this record being a collector’s item, despite the fact that the album went gold, and has Gene Simmons on backing vocals. The gold status is widely considered to be due to the “viking” outfit that Cher is sporting. Remember the Universal Law of Selling Records: scantily-clad women never cause a drop in record sales, even if their presence has little to do with the record’s theme or concept.

Crappy Album Covers #230 — Don't Let Go The Coat-Tails

Hits: 61

Naked or semi-nude women on album covers by tribute bands are over-used. So, why not have a sexy woman sitting on a pile of money? Sex and money! What’s not to like?

The Nashville Fiddles at least had the decency to put their band name in something a tad larger than fine print this time. In fact, it is more prominent than the person they’re tributing — Johnny Cash.

Beatlerama … “The fabulous new sound from England”. One problem is that not all members of the Fab Four played guitar, and where is the drummer?

This is the second volume of Beatlerama released by a group called “The Manchesters” — their name is there in the fine print in the lower left corner. See it? You might need a magnifying glass.

What sets this tribute album apart is that they didn’t use any scantily-clad ladies this time.

Crappy Album Covers #229 — Dummies and their Ventriloquists

Hits: 23

No pertinent info seems to exist on Harry and Terry, except from other CAC blogs who want to make fun of them. I am not even sure which is Harry and which is Terry.

This is not the first ventriloquist album I’ve featured on my CAC series, and it must be stated: A record about a ventriloquist dummy? What is the point?

The big draw of a ventriloquist act is supposed to be the audience being exposed to the illusion of a talking dummy. But if all there is is a spinning record or CD… what’s left? Then it’s just a comedy record with one guy doing voice-overs.

Crappy Album Covers #228 — Music for fitness and recreation

Hits: 15

Jack La Lanne is still going strong with his fitness business. If you check his website, you will be assaulted by a patritotic call to arms to get off your lard ass and start excercising.

I’m not sure of his public speaking skills, but he seems to think he has it. And hey, thinking you have it is half the battle, isn’t it?

He still sells his Moulinex-like power juicers, too, for as low as 99 bucks, as seen on TV.

No idea who composed or performed on this LP, but at least it’s easy to tell what it’s about.

Crappy Album Covers #227 — Songs about being s**t out of luck

Hits: 24

Porter Wayne Wagoner (1927-2007) seems to be well-known for his hard luck songs, like the one that makes the title to this LP. “The Cold, Hard Facts Of Life” is exactly about what is depicted on the photo. Hubby comes home earlier than expected, and finds his wife fooling around with another guy. Nowadays, it would be more like “Guy and gal get married, they honeymoon, then Guy finds the gal is a guy.” Introducing the new cold hard facts.

Wagoner ushered in the career of Dolly Parton and hosted the Grand Ole Opry for many years. He has reportedly had over 80 hit singles on the country charts.

More down-and-outer music can be expected from Latino Joe Bravo in the name of Skid Row Joe. Porter Wagoner actually wrote a song about Skid Row Joe, and in this LP we find Joe doing a cover version.

Now you can hear both songs and become depressed in two different languages:

 

Crappy Album Covers #226 — The Demon Alcohol

Hits: 24

Gertrude Behanna bears witness of the healing power of God to her admirers at an AA meeting. The recorded speech made some time after 1970 is reportedly quite memorable and witty. Reportedly, she is a a very human personality that emerged from “a miasma of glamour, sex, liquor, and irresponsibility.” It’s always the good things in life that f**k you up, isn’t it?
I would come out and say how ugly the above buy tramadol for dogs cover is, if it wasn’t for the existence of this cover. “Amazing Grace” by “The Celebration Road Show”. It looks like it was put together by the guy sitting next to the trashcan in that blue photograph. Or it could just as easily been put together by the toddler in the color insert. If only he were old enough to spell.

Crappy Album Covers #225 — Generic music for generic people

Hits: 27

As Show and Tell Music tell us, this cover is for real. It was pressed some time in the 1980s, and has addresses of the performers in the Northern Alabama area for you to call if you want one of them to perform for you in person, which they would do as part of their ministry. I take it you need to be reasonably handy to Northern Alabama to take advantage of this deal. Here is a part of their notes from the back cover.
Dixieland Jazz, played by a band of eight Shriners who call themselves “The Eight Balls”. These Shriners hail from Lexington, Kentucky, and appear to consist of a dead guy on trumpet, with 7 onlookers.

Crappy Album Covers #224 — No-Name Album Covers

Hits: 28

The Band’s 1968 LP “Music From Big Pink” shows artwork from the Marketing Department at Bob Dylan Enterprises. Actually, Dylan painted this himself, just to give it that “out there” feel. And to be really out there, make sure you don’t put the name on the record.

Figerpainting meets Putumayo. That’s how it looks to me. Dylan also contributed on three of the tracks.

While it peaked at #63 back in the day (was it the lack of a name on the cover that was the problem?), it was ranked by Rolling Stone Magazine as #53 in the “500 greatest albums of all time” in a more recent 2003 appraisal of the album.

Psychedelic rockers Blue Cheer released this “nameless” 1968 LP called “Outsideinside”. Later albums had the title across the top of the front cover design. Of course, if you see this cover and you don’t know what it is about, that makes it all the more edgier for some folks. But other folks can dismiss it with a curt “WTF?” also. Free world.

Some people just like to know the titles of stuff, sometimes. It isn’t nerdy or un-cool to not buy a record because you don’t know who recorded it or what the album name is. Unless your band name is Led Zeppelin (which copycatted this concept three years later with Led Zeppelin IV), you are probably not able to take such risks.

Blue Cheer has been performing as a group under wildly varying lineups over much of the 43-year period between 1966 and 2009. One of the founding members, singer/Bassist Dickie Peterson, died of prostate cancer in October of 2009. After Peterson’s death, bassist Andrew McDonald announced that the group will disband for the final time out of respect for Peterson.

Crappy Album Covers #223 — More Bodily Functions

Hits: 24

FYI, this was an album cover released, according to my reliable informants, during the fifties, and was meant to be a gag album cover with no actual vinyl LP inside. If it did have an LP inside, you would hear the tunes listed on the back cover, which consisted of titles such as “Just Sittin’ and Rockin'”, “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning”, and “At Last”. It may have been purchased at the same joke shop that sold “Half ashtrays” (for your half-ash friends).  A cardboard insert inside explains the gag.
Well, if you are a CAC fan like I think you are, you probably figured sooner or later I would display the Pooh-Man album 1992 cover “As Funky as I Wanna Be”.  Old jokes, re-told on countless blogs I visited that display this CD cover, consist of banter such as “giving birth to a guy with shades must be painful.” And if you hold the record upside-down, well… then we get really gross.

Lawrence Lee Thomas sings the three sacred topics in the Rap Trinity: money, sex and murder. He knows that no rapper has ever lost a dollar singing about those topics, and he’s going to make a mint and wave it in your face, like a good rapper should.

For all the hoopla, I think all the publicity for his album must be coming from blogs like these. This LP never made it into the Billboard Hot 100, but only just made the R&B charts at #38. That being said, this album was the high water mark for MC Pooh, and as far as I can tell, he has never returned to this level of artistic achievement since.

Crappy Album Covers #222 — CAC Makers with a Few Fries Short of a Happy Meal

Hits: 218

Go to Rhino Records(Live) on Westwood Boulevard! Go to Rhino Records on Westwood Boulevard!

If you sing the above lines multiple times in a music-less, out-of-tune voice while clapping your hands, you have a good idea of the “music” that lay within this 1969 double LP. Rhino didn’t exist in 1969 you say? No problemo! We have a YouTube video from 1969 below, produced by Zappa himself.

Double LP. Lord have mercy. Frank Zappa himself was the talent scout that got this guy signed on to the Bizarre record label.

It is likely to be mostly due to his association with Zappa that this used double LP has sold on Amazon for $84.00. A true collectors item, since Frank Zappa’s estate is expressly not considering releasing this on CD. Must have had something to do with the time that Fischer was allowed to hang out at Zappa’s house and started to make an ass of himself and trash his house. I guess if Zappa were alive, he wouldn’t release it on CD either.

Somtimes being crazy means you are some kind of mad genius. Sometimes it just means you’re crazy.

Sometimes being a mass murderer means you can sing birthday tunes. This is John Wayne Gacy (1942-1994), otherwise known as Pogo The Clown.

So I now stand corrected. In this article, where I write a short article about him, I claimed that he never made records. But I found this one.

This record cover shown was found on Myspace.com. A birthday record with piano accompaniment by Lucille Adams. There is a serial number on the upper right that says “JWG-33-1994”. I would suppose the the “JWG” in the serial number (Pogo’s Initials) would make that a vanity pressing. “33” are the number of people he murdered; and “1994” was the year he was executed by lethal injection.

Wildman Fischer, from the aforementioned double LP, on YouTube:

Crappy Album Covers #221 — Unique Reiligious Concepts

Hits: 24

“I stood at Calvary in a business suit, but no one told me that they were gonna have a toga party” is how I paraphrase one MSN blogger who discussed this album. But this could also be one of the earliest depictions of Supply-Side Jesus in a business suit. 

No one would crucify Supply-side Jesus, according to his biographer and publicist, Al Franken, as when the choice was given to the multitudes as to whether to release Supply-side Jesus or Jesus of Nazareth from the sentence of death by crucifixion, the people chose Supply-side Jesus, since he offered the public 20 sheckels to anyone who voted for him. This historic act is depicted here for all to see.

I don’t care if it rains or freezes, s’long as I have my 8-bit Jesus playing on my iPod in my car. Our Lord and Saviour meets Mario Brothers. 

These ditties by Doctor Octoroc may be downloaded again from a web page that touts it as the “second coming of 8-bit Jesus”.

 

Crappy Album Covers #220 — Poorly thought-out concepts

Hits: 17

This is an awfully dry album cover for the former members of The New Pornographers and Wolf Parade. I mean, a courtroom? In their 2009 album “Enemy Mine”, it is not clear if there is any connection at all between this cover and the album’s contents.

Apart from that, this kind of art might be OK for a newspaper courtroom artist who wants to capture the likenesses of large numbers of people. Unless  your album is about famous or notable court cases, courtroom art is a bad idea.

This album is an improvement over Swan Lake due to the lack of a courtroom image.

Al Jolson was known for his imitating a black singer by covering his face in black makeup, but it appears as though this black guy covered his face in even blacker makeup. But alas, it looks like a wax carving.

Some amusing tidbits: I found a larger image than this in a place called the “Uncyclomedia Commons“. The web page containing the image declares that “This image or article is a copyright violation”. Then in small print, it continues: “Luckily, nobody cares.” The link on “nobody cares” points to an aticle in the “uncyclopedia” called “nobody cares“. The Uncyclopedia is touted as a “content-free” encyclopedia, but it appears to be satire.

Crappy Album Covers #219 — Beefcake or fruitcake? You be the judge!

Hits: 12

Crossing the line between soft porn and insanity, Mike Bones offers us this picture of himself spending time at the Betty Ford Clinic. Honest, he just let one of his buddies play with his camera while he was visiting him, and being too drugged up to notice, a picture was taken of him, desaturated to black-and-white in Photoshop, and made into the cover of his second solo CD, entitled “A Fool For Everyone”, which got released in 2009.

Honestly, I have no idea of the circumstances for the photo. The above idea was competing in my brain with another scenario, that he is photographed here showing the after effects of interrogation, imprisonment and starvation.

Mike Jones was Mike Strallow, lead guitarist of such indie/underground bands as Soldiers of Fortune and The Mighty Flashlight. The Mighty Flashlight looks like it was used in this album cover photo as part of the interrogation, as evidenced by the washed-out image.

Former Italian fashion model and romance novelist Fabio Lanzoni would stand for none of that black-and-white, washed-out photo nonsense. He still looks like he walked off a GAP commercial … the one that might have had the slogan “Everyone in love with themselves”.

Fabio has also appeared in countless movies and soap operas. Not much info on his singing career. If you want to know if Fabio can sing, then buy the album and write me back.

Crappy Album Covers #218 — Old-School Telephones

Hits: 13

Buy this album and you will always be able to see this beautiful photo of a telephone held by someone in a tasteful suit. Yes, I’ll bet you will stare at this one forever.

I’m only saying all this because I’m jealous, of course. Aren’t you, knowing now that Jerry Irby has a hotline to heaven? Look at him smiling! Don’t it make you want to rip the phone out of his hands?

“Yo God! I’m really happy for Jer’! I’ll let him finish, but I just want to say that Millie Jackson has one of the worst album covers of all time!”

Jerry Irby mixed gospel with country music. Bobby Bland mixed gospel with blues and R&B. This 1962 single had Bobby imprisoned for overuse of the depiction of a telephone, just because the word “call” appears in one of the titles.

Bland recorded 30 albums and released around 45 singles over the years between 1958 and 1998.  That is, 45 hit singles out of a total of 120.  During that time, he had served in the US Armed Forces. He has been entered into both the Blues Hall of Fame, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Crappy Album Covers #217 — Too much for metal

Hits: 21

The only thing this album has going for it is the “Explicit Lyrics/Parental Advisory” sticker that tells adolescents that these are the only kinds of recordings they should buy.

The Metal parody group Steel Panther currently play weekly in Los Vegas and Los Angeles. They must be metal, because their website overuses gothic fonts and umlauts above every occurence of the letter “o”.

“Feel the Steel” was released in the UK June of 2009, and a few months later in North America and Australia. Previous albums included spoken-word comedy tracks, but this one is just the music. Their website features this CD and sells it bundled with a T-shirt for around 26 bucks. CD is 11 bucks.

Metal, mullets, tattoos and babes the trappings of the CD design for Reel Big Fish’s 2009 CD “Fame, Fortune and Fornication”. The guy on the cover is actually not a member of the band, but Brian Klemm of the group Suburban Legends, wearing the same clothing (or not) as he had on the album cover of “Let’s Be Friends” from the previous year. Klemm acts as a guest backing vocalist on the LP. No one knows who the token female is.

The entire album consists of cover ska versions of songs done by John Mellencamp, Van Morrisson, The Eagles, Tom Petty, and Poison.

Crappy Album Covers #215 — Your Miranda Rights

Hits: 24

You have a right to remain silent, while Carmen Miranda has a right to sing her fool head off. It almost isn’t fair, is it? Here she is depicted as being attacked by a fruit bowl, and you stand accused.

She’s smiling because she’s hired the best lawyer in the business, and this is how she finances her jewellery.

Portuguese-born Maria do Carmo Miranda de Cuhna (1909-1955) was a Broadway singer and actress, and many believe she was the highest earning woman in the United States during the 1940s. She grew up in Brazil, earning her nickname “The Brazilian Bombshell”.

Below, the Lady in The Tutti Fruitti Hat sings the title track to this album.

Dick Schory and his merry band of percussionists and other musicians made this LP in 1958 or 1959 depending on what website you are looking at. I’ve seen it categorized as Easy Listening and as Space Age Pop. Either one would be possible for that period.

The music has faded into mediocrity (answers.com gives it only two stars and a lukewarm review), but the crappy album cover lives on in our collective memory. This vinyl LP, whose cover depicts Dick Schory crawling out from underneath a pile of percussion instruments, is considered a collector’s item, with Amazon selling a used copy for around $280.00

WARNING: The picture on the Amazon site, on close inspection is of a 1996 German import CD, not a vinyl LP — Not sure if that is something I would pay close to $300 for. A giveaway is the jewel case, but an even bigger giveaway is the “Compact Disc” logo on the back cover. While there is no overt attempt by Amazon to obscure this (it is listed as a CD), Vinyl Renaissance sells the original vinyl LP used for $55.

Carmen Miranda, “South American Way”

Here is an English translation of the same song by The Andrews Sisters:

Crappy Album Covers #214 — Where they learn to dance

Hits: 24

Cuban born Perez Prado (1916-1989) showed himself as the Head Honcho of Mambo University. I guess it was the Latin kind, not the horizontal kind.  During his tenure, Prado was known as the King of Mambo.

Living for most of his life in Mexico, he had a long recording and performing career which extended from the 1940s to the 1970s.

One of his most famous recordings has the unfortunate name of “Mambo #5.” While it’s not on this record, I thought that I would include a video of the original 1950 tune, followed by a cover version of the song (below) done by the Horizontal Mambo Man Lou Bega, performed 50 years later, around 2000. You are guaranteed not to be able to get the Bega version out of your head.

Many of us recognise the name Arthur Murray as being the name behind the international dance lessons franchise. Now, how do you “learn” to dance to Rock and Roll and “do your own thing”?

Big Dave and his Orchestra could be accused of cashing in somehow with some kind of bandwagon, but in fact, Murray picked out the tracks himself, and there was a serious intent to “teach” rock and roll dance to customers.

Speaking for myself, I dance like a 3-legged cow, but if I wanted to pay for dance lessons, I don’t think I would go for something free-form like Rock, but with something more structured that takes somewhat more effort, like tango, foxtrot, or that kind of stuff.

Mambo #5 by Perez Prado

Mambo #5 by Lou Bega

Crappy Album Covers #213 — More TV and Movies

Hits: 16

Cushy job there, Dean.

Dino Paul Crocetti, known as Dean Martin (1917-1995), played secret agent Matt Helm in the 1966 movie The Silencers.

I can’t see Matt Helm’s agency remaining secret if he continues to chase women.

This looks like the second redesign I’ve seen about the movie Peter Gunn. Same artist, same movie.

Crappy Album Covers #212 — The love of self and others

Hits: 18

Common wisdom tells us that you must love yourself if you are going to give love to others. Otherwise, if you see yourself as a miserable chump, others will see you the same way, and only other miserable chumps will be your companions.

The first step in loving yourself is self-acceptance. And with that, being yourself. When you feel comfortable with yourself, others will feel comfortable around you, except your miserable chump ex-friends.

This was the self-help cash cow once milked by Samuel George Davis Jr (1925-1990). That being said this former Rat Packer has won 5 Grammies and 5 Emmies.

Cugat is depicted here, humping jumping on the Cha Cha Cha bandwagon that was all the rage in the 50s and 60s, and which has provided a rich source of crappy album covers for my blog.

He’s doing it wrong. He’s supposed to dance with the lady and put the french bread back on the table.

Xavier was born Francisco d’Asis Javier Cugat Mingal de Bru y Deleufo (1900-1990), but his publicist thought “Xavier Cugat” would not crowd out his picture on the record cover.

Cugat was known for his popularization of Latin dance, notably the Rumba, and has earned himself two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Before and after World War II, his band was the resident orchestra at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. His band has also toured with Enrico Caruso.

Crappy Album Covers #211 — Domestic Affairs

Hits: 19

If you cook either with electricity or briquettes, this album is not for you. I think there was a decade between the mid-50s and mid-60s where there were a spate of “Music for X” albums for every occasion. Cook with gas? Then buy this record!

Harry Fields (?-1988) graduated from Julliard with a Ph. D., and was a contemporary of George Gershwin. His orchestra played regularly for the American troops during World War II. A nice article on Fields gives more detail.

The father works, as is the expectation of fathers of the albums of this period, but on the domestic front, there is the family he provides for.

If John is a farmer, it crosses my mind that in order to work his many acres of land, he needs hands, which is the expected contribution of his family members. The kids seem a little young to be farm hands, and there are only two women, one of whom have to tend to domestic affairs. The other? Well, none of them look like they could pitch hay.

Anyone get the impression that the land they are standing on is not theirs?

 

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